Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Larkspur, Candle Delphinium
Delphinium 'Black Knight'

Family: Ranunculaceae (ra-nun-kew-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Delphinium (del-FIN-ee-um) (Info)
Cultivar: Black Knight
Additional cultivar information: (Pacific Giant Series, aka Pacific Giant Black Knight)

8 members have or want this plant for trade.


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Mid Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From herbaceous stem cuttings
Allow cut surface to callous over before planting
By air layering

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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4 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Jay11 On Jun 27, 2014, Jay11 from Cambridge, MA wrote:

I grew from seed the strain "Tall Black Knight" (Thompson & Morgan). Although germination is a bit of trouble because of cold stratification, I was pleased with results. From 1 packet of seeds, six plants survived. I probably could have a much better yield if I had put in a bit more effort. Most plants have dark purple flowers as expected, but one is lavender - gray in color. I planted them in the garden late last spring and they flowered in the fall. Now flowering in the second year, in June. I am pleased with how long the flowers have lasted, nearly a month. Perhaps this is due to the cool wet spring this year. I will be interested to see if they return next year.

Positive Jolanda40 On May 31, 2012, Jolanda40 from Amsterdam
Netherlands wrote:

Two years ago I got a garden and I wanted Delphinium to be in it so much. I've read that it's not an easy plant in most gardens and I can confirm that by now.
Complicating factor: my goal is to raise everything from seed.
Fresh Delphiunium seed germinates rather easily, but gets also easily prone te mildew or just stops growing.
And for the seedlings who make it and are planted out: all slugs in your garden are just waiting for this plant.They ignore even hostas when a fresh delphinium is around.
But I succeeded. My experience is:
They love a cold period. I use the "deno" method but put them in my refrigerator for at least six weeks in their wet coffee-filters. There the healthy seeds will sprout and after that I put them in their cells.
Planting out: wait until you have strong growth. Better size them up in pots one time before planting out.
In the garden: They love full sun and nutition but hate wet feet. So put them on a raised bed.
Slugs: The only thing that's working here (on wet clay) is copper rings. Really keeps the slugs away.
And after all the effort and I bet some luck: the second year they emerge early in spring and become lovely. Indeed the pride of my garden!! (see pictures)
And when planted en masse in a sheltered place or when other higher plants surround them, they can do without support.

Positive lindypuddin On Mar 8, 2012, lindypuddin from stony mountain, MB (Zone 3a) wrote:

planted 2010 zone 3a
the 'black knight' has the black bee

reached 7 feet tall
required fertilizing
needed support
visited by hummingbirds

Positive lmelling On Mar 27, 2005, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Beautiful and impressive delphinium from the "Pacific Giant" line. Deep blue with a black eye. Mature blooms can be harvested and dried for use in fall arrangements and add a particularly colorful touch (air dry upsidedown).

Plants are generally short-lived, needing to be replaced about every 3 years - but well worth it.. If first flush blossoms are harvested, the plant will rebloom.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Shrewsbury, Massachusetts
Albion, Pennsylvania
Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Kalama, Washington

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